|Lebanese president inaugurates $80 million theme park (Daily Star)
|Lahoud: Project will make country a global tourist destination
An $80 million theme park stretching over an area of 107,000 square meters was opened by President Emile Lahoud Thursday. Accompanied by the chairman of the project, Khalaf Habtoor, and a host of officials and business leaders, Lahoud toured the large complex which is located in Harat al-Sit, 6 kilometers from Beirut.
Habtoor Land, the largest theme park in Lebanon and one of the most unusual projects in the Middle East, is one the latest multi-million-dollar projects financed by the U.A.E. magnate in Lebanon. The project will employ 450 people. Lahoud said the project will make Lebanon a global tourist destination.
"I have chosen Lebanon to have this project, because this country is unique in its weather, geographical position, expertise. ... It is a tourists' location," said Habtoor.
Habtoor said tourists from neighboring European and Arab countries will be "looking toward Lebanon as a preferred holiday destination." That is why, according to Habtoor, "the project will play a crucial role in boosting the tourism sector of the Lebanese economy."
The park will feature a miniature park, a roller-coaster, a souk, an amphitheater, a bird park and many other attractions.
Habtoor has already invested over $300 million in Lebanon over the past four years. Among his numerous projects are the Metropolitan Hotel in Sin al-Fil and a residential complex in the Jamhour area.
Habtoor, who owns a chain of hotels in the U.A.E., Egypt, Jordan and Europe, is building the Metropolitan City Center and the largest conference hall in Lebanon.
Arab Gulf investors have invested over $5 billion in tourist projects in Lebanon since the civil war ended in 1990.
Capitalizing on the growing number of tourists into the country, many Gulf investors have built five-star hotels in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
The Daily Star